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FOOTBALL

Sweden beats Croatia 3-1

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sebastian Larsson starred for Sweden in their well deserved 3-1 win over Croatia in an international friendly on Wednesday.

Sweden beats Croatia 3-1

Ibrahimovic scored a blistering first goal in the 13th minute from the penalty spot after Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa tackled Rasmus Elm.

Croatia levelled in the 44th minute by Jonas Olsson who accidentally lobbed his own goalkeeper.

Sebastian Larsson then put the game to bed with goals in in the 46th and the 69th minute.

“It was a good game. We played against a very good team, we are very happy and hope that we can continue (playing) like this in the games to come,” Ibrahimovic told Croatian national television.

Asked about Sweden’s chances at Euro 2012 Ibrahimovic said: “We’ll do our best like any other team and you can never know what can happen at Euro but we hope for the best.

“For sure we will prepare and hope to go as far as possible.”

Swedish coach Erik Hamrén also used the friendly to try out some new talent, playing 19-year-old John Guidetti, currently playing for Premier League team Manchester City on loan from Dutch Feyenoord, for one half of the match.

Ibrahimovic said after the game that he thinks Guidetti deserves a place on the Swedish Euro 2012 side, calling him an “exciting” player.

Hamrén is set to announce his side on May 14th.

Sweden have been paired alongside England, France and co-hosts Ukraine in Group D at Euro 2012, which runs from June 8 to July 1 in Poland and Ukraine.

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said that his opponents “played a tough, firm and well organised game.”

“In the first half we were ok, but in the second we deteriorated. Simply we were not good. Notably in the second half when we were much slower,” Bilic told national television.

Croatia have been drawn in Group C at Euro 2012 and will face defending champions Spain, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.

Their biggest success on the international stage was a third-place finish at the 1998 World Cup in France.

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FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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